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January 28th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

How can President Bush salvage his legacy?

 President Geroge Bush on Air Force One.

President Geroge Bush on Air Force One.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

All eyes will leave the campaign trail briefly tonight and turn to President Bush as he delivers his final State of the Union Address. With just 12 months left in office, this is typically the last time a lame duck president manages to get everybody's attention.

The speech is expected to be about half domestic and half foreign affairs - the big topics to be the economy and the war in Iraq. He'll talk about improved security in Iraq, and other international hotspots like Iran as well as his efforts to jump start the peace process in the Middle East.

When it comes to the economy, there's not much good news to report. A possible recession, the housing collapse and sub prime mortgage mess, a falling dollar, rising unemployment, inflation at a 17 year high, the stock market in pretty much of a nosedive since the first of the year. Not pretty.

The president will call on Congress to finish that economic stimulus package quickly. But that may not happen. Democrats in the Senate are now reportedly trying to add their own list of additional items to the bill despite warnings from the White House not to.

The White House insists this speech will be forward-looking, and not about his legacy. And perhaps that is a good thing. The president's approval ratings have been terrible for several years now. And there are dozens of unanswered questions about the legality of a lot of what he's done while in office, but no willingness on the part of Congress to do anything about it.

Here’s my question to you: With 12 months to go, how can President Bush salvage his legacy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: President George Bush
January 28th, 2008
05:50 PM ET

How can Obama attract more white support?

Senator Barack Obama., greets the crowd at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, Friday.  Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.<br />

Senator Barack Obama., greets the crowd at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, Friday. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama crushed Hillary Clinton in Saturday's South Carolina primary, 55% to 27%.

His overwhelming victory was propelled by landslide margins among blacks, winning 78% of their votes. But when it came to the white vote, Obama received 24%, trailing both John Edwards and Clinton.

So far in this campaign, Obama's highest support among white voters came in New Hampshire where he got 36%. In Iowa, he got a third of the white vote.

Results from South Carolina also suggest that racial attitudes play a part in how effective voters think the candidates would be once elected. Whites were far likelier to name Clinton than Obama as being the most qualified to be commander-in-chief, likeliest to unite the country and most likely to win the general election. As for blacks, they named Obama over Clinton by even stronger margins in all three areas.

So despite his overwhelming victory this weekend, it seems like Obama is going to need to find a way to capture more of the white vote. Clinton continues to maintain a big lead in national polls. And, when it comes to the major Super Tuesday states like New York, New Jersey, California and others, she has wide, in some case double-digit, leads in the polls over Obama.

Here’s my question to you: What does Barack Obama have to do to attract more white support?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Barack Obama
January 25th, 2008
06:41 PM ET

Room for Al Gore in the race?

ALT TEXT
Former US vice president and Nobel laureate Al Gore talks during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 24 January 2008. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In many ways, it's been a strange campaign up to this point. But it could get a lot stranger.

Consider this: What if we go through the Florida primary and Super Tuesday and the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remains as tight as it's been? For the primaries, Democrats have the same rules in every state: delegates are awarded in proportion to the vote - meaning no winner-take-all. If Clinton and Obama continue to split the vote in many states, it's possible we could get to late spring or early summer and neither candidate would have enough delegates to secure the nomination.

And that's assuming they get that far without destroying each other with their increasingly nasty bickering. There just might be an opening for someone else to step in and unify the party. Oh, you know, like say maybe Al Gore.

Gore insists he won't run despite a movement called "draft-Gore-dot-com" that's calling on him to "transcend politics as usual and bring real hope to our country and to the world." As recently as last month, the former vice president said he has "no plans to be a candidate." But being a politician he added, "I see no reason to rule it out entirely."

Also, it's worth noting Gore has not backed either Clinton or Obama so far, and a recent report indicated that an endorsement by Gore is looking less likely. Former advisers suggest the Nobel Prize catapulted Gore to a new national and international standing that could possibly be tarnished by taking sides in the primary battle.

Here’s my question to you: If the Democrats have trouble picking between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, should Al Gore consider entering the race?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 25th, 2008
05:56 PM ET

Bill Clinton: political attack dog?

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife in Greenville, South Carolina. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife in Greenville, South Carolina. Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Bill Clinton, former president of the United States turned political attack dog, is apparently helping his wife's presidential campaign.

The New York Times reports that Clinton advisers say the former president's aggressive stance against Barack Obama is resonating with voters, and they plan to keep him on the campaign trail in a major role after the South Carolina primary.

They say the benefits of having Bill Clinton challenge Obama are worth the trade-offs of perhaps overshadowing Hillary or damaging his own reputation.

In fact, campaign officials acknowledge that the former president is deliberately playing "bad cop", and predict a voter backlash against Obama if it ends up being Bill Clinton who looks like a victim. Whether it's working or not there are those who suggest this is no way for a former president to act.

Peggy Noonan in today's Wall Street Journal: "Bill Clinton, with his trembly, red-faced rage, makes John McCain look young. His divisive and destructive daily comportment - this is a former president of the United States - is a civic embarrassment." She goes on: "...The Clintons are tearing the party apart. It will not be the same after this. It will not be the same after its most famous leader, and probable ultimate victor, treated a proud and accomplished black man who is a U.S. senator as if he were nothing, a mere impediment to their plans."

Here’s my question to you: Should a former president be acting as a political attack dog on behalf of his wife?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 25th, 2008
04:54 PM ET

McCain’s mom takes on GOP?

 Roberta McCain, mother of Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain on the 'Meet the Press' May 2007 in Washington, DC..

Roberta McCain, mother of Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain on the 'Meet the Press' May 2007 in Washington, DC..

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is getting no love from the Republican base…so says his 95-year-old mother, Roberta McCain.

She claims she's seen her son get no help whatsoever from the party base. Nonetheless, Mrs. McCain says he can go on to win the nomination, adding quote "I think holding their nose they're going to have to take him." You gotta love it.

She also had this to say: “Now I'm really popping off, but he worked like a dog to get Bush re-elected… He's backed Bush in everything except Rumsfeld. Have you heard other senators and congressmen backing Bush over eight years? Find me it, give me a name. I've not seen any public recognition of the work that he's done for the Republican Party.”

When asked about his mother's comments, McCain said that although he loves her, they disagree on some things. He joked that given his mom's age, she should get a little latitude for her candid remarks. McCain also pointed to the fact that he won more Republican votes than any other candidate in both South Carolina and New Hampshire. He says the support he got from independents should show conservatives he's the most electable candidate come the general election.

But his mother may have a point. McCain has some tough critics within the conservative establishment, including people like Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, Former Senator Rick Santorum and conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh. Many of them are disgusted with positions McCain has taken on issues like immigration, campaign finance reform, his decision to work with Joe Lieberman on global warming, and his opposition to President Bush's tax cuts.

Here’s my question to you: John McCain’s mother says he has no support from the Republican base. Is she right?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: John McCain
January 24th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

“The Democrats’ worst nightmare?”

ALT TEXT
Sen. John McCain, campaigns at rally at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is billing himself as "the Democrats' worst nightmare."

He has a new web ad that claims the Democratic candidates for president are afraid to face him in the general election.

During this week's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards used McCain's name 15 times. McCain says this is because the Democrats are concerned that he is the only candidate who can rally the conservative Reagan Coalition while appealing to independent voters... ensuring a Republican victory in November. The ad will appear on the web sites of several Florida newspapers.

But, in a nation that's already so divided... it seems like McCain could be going out of his way to alienate a lot of people. After all, it was independents in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries who helped him win.

Also, it's worth pointing out that Rudy Giuliani aired a radio ad in Iowa back in September calling himself the liberals' "worst nightmare." Not anymore.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a good strategy for any candidate to present himself as the other party's "worst nightmare" in an already divided country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 24th, 2008
05:50 PM ET

Giuliani’s gamble?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.<br />

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Rudy Giuliani is slipping in the state considered "crucial" to his presidential chances.

An average of three polls taken in Florida show Giuliani in third place. John McCain and Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck at 27% and 25%. Giuliani is way back at 16%... practically tied with Mike Huckabee, who gets 15%. It's looking more and more like Giuliani's dream of being president is headed for the scrap heap. Two months ago Giuliani was the prohibitive favorite in Florida at 38% to 17% for Mitt Romney and 11% for John McCain.

One pollster is quoted by the Miami Herald saying Giuliani has "virtually no chance to win in Florida." Another says, "If he can't make it there in Florida, he can't make it anywhere." Guess the words of that famous song don't always ring true. And Florida is winner take all…if you don't finish first you don't get a single delegate.

Giuliani's campaign, of course, disputes all this, insisting he'll win. He argues his message just needs a little more time to sink in.

It's really quite stunning. Giuliani was the national front-runner for months. In a decision that strategists will probably talk about for years to come, he chose to virtually ignore the early states. Huge mistake. He goes into Florida 0 for 6 in states that have already voted. And, apparently the people in Florida don't like a loser, either.

If Giuliani loses in Florida on Tuesday, it could be the beginning of a collapse that will go down in history… since he won't have the momentum going into Super Tuesday. You know, kind of like he hasn't had any momentum coming out of Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Nevada, Michigan or South Carolina.

Here’s my question to you: What went wrong for Rudy Giuliani?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Florida Primary
January 24th, 2008
02:31 PM ET

“Hillary goes negative”?

 Hillary Clinton accepts endorsement of Pa. Gov. Rendell at Philadelphia City Hall, Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton accepts endorsement of Pa. Gov. Rendell at Philadelphia City Hall, Wednesday.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Clintons "have introduced the politics of personal destruction" to the presidential race and they "bear responsibility for cheapening the tone of the contest."

Some tough words coming from a New York Daily News editorial today, especially considering Hillary is a senator from New York.

The New York Daily News accuses Senator Clinton of "distorting" Barack Obama's record and airing a TV ad that twists an Obama statement "to the point of clear inaccuracy."

"She is indulging in the partisan-style politics that Americans are desperate to leave behind and certainly don't want in a President. And she is either giving free rein to, or failing to control, her husband. Neither possibility bodes well."

The same sentiment is beginning to appear within the Democratic Party. The concern is this bitter campaign could end up hurting whoever the nominee is. If it's Obama - he could come out of this personally battered and politically weakened. If it's Clinton - she could risk losing black voters, who might blame her for Obama's loss and not bother to show up to vote in November.

Here’s my question to you: Will Hillary Clinton's personal attacks on Barack Obama ultimately hurt her and her party?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
January 23rd, 2008
06:52 PM ET

False pretenses for Iraq war?

ALT TEXT

President Bush, joined by senior members of his administration, at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush and top administration officials publicly made 935 false statements about the risk posed by Iraq in the two years following 9/11 according to a study done by two nonprofit journalism groups.

The study found President Bush led the pack with 260 lies, but he wasn't alone. Other officials listed include: Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others.

The study points to at least 532 times where officials said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to get them or had links to al Qaeda.

They say the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The White House called the study "flawed", and repeated the administration's position that the world community saw Saddam Hussein as a threat. President Bush said that at the time he and other officials made the statements, the U.S. intelligence community and other nations thought Iraq had WMD.

But it didn't. And yet we're still there and almost 4,000 of our troops are dead because of it.

Here’s my question to you: What do you make of a study that shows President Bush and his top aides made 935 false statements about the threat from Iraq in the two years after 9/11?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

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Filed under: Iraq
January 23rd, 2008
05:50 PM ET

Slow moving jumpstart for economy?

 President Bush, meets with Congressional leaders to discuss the economy, Tuesday.

President Bush, meets with Congressional leaders to discuss the economy, Tuesday.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Bush and congressional leaders are promising urgent action when it comes to a stimulus package to jump-start the economy.

But the truth is it may be too little, too late, and their definition of "urgent" may be quite different from that of the American people.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says senators are going to sit on their hands and do nothing until the House does something. Reid says when the House passes a bill and sends it to the Senate, they'll address it "as quickly" as they can. Yesterday, Reid said their goal is to get a bill to President Bush by February 15th. That's in three and a half weeks. In the last three weeks, the stock market has lost more than a thousand points.

What we're getting is more government by photo op from our so-called "leadership." Sit at a table, get your picture taken, then go out and mumble some platitudes about bipartisanship afterwards.

President Bush finally admitted the economy is in trouble a week ago - so the time between that and actually seeing some help for the economy could be at least a month.

In the meantime, people suffer, the markets dive, and our politicians talk. Where's the urgency? It's like they're all reading "My Pet Goat" while the country falls into recession and the value of people's investments, retirement plans and houses goes down the toilet. It's worth remembering when we vote later this year.

Here’s my question to you: Why can’t the president and Congress move more quickly on an economic stimulus package?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Congress
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